A community gravity water system had been built in 1985 by the government in El Zurzular. At the time the system was designed to provide water for only 30 homes and in June 2009 was only connected to 54 of the 87 homes in the community. Those people without a water connection were using water from streams and springs nearby which they carried to their homes in buckets other plastic containers. Due to small piping diameters and a lack of control and cleaning valves in the system, only 12 gallons/minute was entering the storage tank, an insufficient quantity for the population.
Water System Solution
Water Brigaders from four different universities worked in the community between August and December 2009. During that time, those volunteers worked with community members to:
• Install a filter and control valve at the water source.
• Replace all piping in the conduction line with larger diameter pipes and cleaning and air valves.
• Repair the chlorination system at the storage tank.
• Construct an entirely new distribution network.
• Install water connections at all previously unconnected homes.
• Provide educational seminars to children in the community on water and health related topics.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, a new seven member Water Council was established and trained by Water Brigades in addition to a Basic Sanitation Committee also trained by Water Brigades.
El Zurzular was the first full scale water system completed by Water Brigades and was a great success. Community participation was incredible with over 90 community members working on the project every day. Once completed 38 gallons/minute enter the storage tank, 100% of the homes in the community are connected to the water system, and zero cases of diarrhea in children under 5 years old were reported in the first 6 months after the completion of the project.
Water Project Stages
All stages of this water project have been completed.